Early morning after our mammoth meal at Lasarte, MD and I realised we needed to walk off the calories and prep for yet another big dinner at MOments at the Mandarin Oriental. So the next day, we decided to walk loads by visiting the Sagrada Familia, Parc de la Ciutadella, Parc Guell, and the Gothic Quarter.
(I’ll write a separate post about the Sagrada Familia soon, because it defo deserves its own post, teehee!)
Gothic Quarter Street Art
Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is picturesque in its own right, with its offering of lively shops, buzzing bars and eateries, as well as its residents (who may, on occasion, throw buckets of water outside their balconies). But what I’ve really enjoyed looking at, is the street art.
This one’s clearly my fave!
Each shop seems to have its designated graffiti, but most walls are also decked with spray paint and mixed material artwork. It’s like walking through an art gallery with pitstops for jamon cones and sangria!
Barcelona’s street art could easily rival East London’s offering and if this is your kind of thing, I suggest you go have a look. There are even places that offer walking tours dedicated to see the city’s wide gallery of urban artists. Take a look here to check it out!
Parc de la Ciutadella
I like Parc de la Ciutadella because it’s a very active park, in terms of what you see and what you can do. From watching street buskers to boating, from dancing to listening to live music, to walking pets or just simply sunbathing, there’s plenty to do. It’s a very friendly and carefree public park that’s quite pleasant to hang around at during the day.
Here’s a stunt busker wowing the crowds by the Arc de Triomf promenade.
And here’s me trying to wow my own crowd. Lol.
The flowers and the trees kept at Parc de la Ciutadella are all so varied and it was so cool checking them out. And if nature’s your type of thing, you can also visit the Museum of Natural Science as well as the Zoo in the park.
One of my favourite spots in the park is the Glorieta de la Transsexual Sònia, a bandstand built in memory of a transexual named Sònia, who was maliciously killed in a hate crime by a group of neo-Nazis. Each weekend, you can see a lot of people from all walks of life coming here and dancing to various Latino music. A celebration of everyday life, I suppose.
The Cascada is another fascinating thing I love about Parc de la Ciutadella. You can actually see a sculpture reminiscent of the Birth of Venus at the centre.
The Parliament of Catalonia also lies by the park. It’s a pretty building and reminds me of the Palacio del Gobernador in Manila.
I have a confession: I didn’t enjoy Parc Guell too much. Granted the views had been stunning, and we ended up checking out Gaudi’s old home as well, but… I was just not as impressed as I thought. Perhaps this was due to the fact that I was wearing the wrong shoes. Or that we had to get separate tickets now to go to the viewing deck. Gone are the days when everything was a one-ticket stop. Tsk.
It was however, a nice way to end a long day of walking and sight-seeing. And I’d do it all over again when I can. 😉
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